Technology Commercialization Chief Earns Tech Titan Award

Robert Robb, associate vice president for technology commercialization at UT Dallas, has received a 2012 Tech Titan Award from the Metroplex Technology Business Council, the largest technology trade association in Texas.

Robb received the Tech Titan Technology Advocate award for his leadership of the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), a division of the Office of Research charged with moving viable UT Dallas research and technology from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Robert Robb

Robert Robb received the Tech Titan Technology Advocate award for his leadership of the Office of Technology Commercialization.

“Being selected for the award was a surprise, for sure,” said Robb, who also is director of venture development for the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) at UT Dallas. “It is a grand recognition for all the terrific things the OTC, the IIE, faculty and students are accomplishing.”

Robb said the award also is a reflection of the strong support and endorsement the University administration has provided for technology commercialization initiatives.

Established in 2008, the UT Dallas Office of Technology Commercialization is responsible for evaluating and protecting intellectual property, facilitating the creation of UT Dallas spinoff companies, assisting in the licensing of technologies, and communicating with investors and industry about commercialization opportunities.

Under Robb’s leadership, the office has facilitated the disclosure of more than 200 inventions, and the issuance of 23 patents and 21 licenses. In addition, 13 UT Dallas spinoff companies have been formed, creating more than 50 high-tech jobs and raising more than $20 million in start-up capital.

Robb also is director of the UT Dallas Venture Development Center, which opened in 2011. The 8,200-square-foot facility, located next to campus, houses spinoff companies that are based on UT Dallas research and technology.

“This recognition shows that people in our community think Bob does a good job, that he’s a leader in technology advocacy. We’re very fortunate to have him here,” said Dr. Bruce Gnade, vice president for research at UT Dallas.

The annual Tech Titan awards recognize outstanding technology companies and individuals in North Texas who have made significant contributions to their industries during the past year.

Engineering and Computer Science School Celebrates Technology Honors

Dr. Farokh Bastani

Dr. Farokh Bastani leads the UT Dallas effort for the Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.

Several members of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science were recognized this year in the Metroplex Technology Business Council’s Tech Titan awards.

The Tech Titan of the Future, University Award went to the Net-Centric Software and Systems Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. The center, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration between the Jonsson School, the University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, Arizona State University and Missouri University of Science and Technology. Faculty members and students in the center collaborate on innovative research projects with industrial partners from such companies as Boeing, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard Co., Lockheed Martin, NTT Data, Raytheon Co., Tektronix and Texas Instruments.

Dr. Farokh Bastani, professor of computer science, leads the UT Dallas site.

“UT Dallas graduate and undergraduate students have achieved impressive results in several Net-centric related research areas, including cloud computing simulation and benchmarking, high-throughput network processers using FPGA semiconductors, power management for mobile devices, real-time anomaly detection, service-oriented distributed governance, software safety, and other research topics,” Bastani said.

Other UT Dallas engineering programs and professors were also honored:


Jonsson School Dean Mark W. Spong (center) is shown with some members of the UTDesign team (left to right): Rod Wetterskog, Nancy Finch, Dr. Marco Tacca, Dr. Robert Hart and Dr. Jey Veerasamy.

  • UTDesign, a capstone senior design course that allows students to work on projects for high-technology companies, was a finalist in the same category. The UTDesign team includes Rod Wetterskog, assistant dean of corporate relations and UTDesign program coordinator; Drs. Jey Veerasamy, Marco Tacca and Robert Hart, all senior lecturers and program coordinators;  Andrea Turcatti, assistant program coordinator; and Nancy Finch, who is responsible for corporate care.
  • Dr. Gil Lee, professor of electrical engineering, was a finalist for the Tech Titan Community Hero Award for his efforts to teach mathematics to underprivileged children in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This past year, volunteers in Dr. Lee’s nonprofit company IntelliChoice taught more than 200 elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Dr. Philip Loizou, a professor of electrical engineering who died in July, was a finalist for the Tech Titans Inventor Award category. He connected cellphones or PDAs with electronic medical devices known as cochlear implants to help restore sound to thousands of people with profound hearing loss.
  • Also as part of this year’s recognitions, Dr. Krish Prabhu, a life member of the UT Dallas Development Board and former chairman, was inducted into the Tech Titan Hall of Fame. Prabhu, president of AT&T Labs and CTO of AT&T, is a former adjunct professor in the electrical engineering department. He was the first to establish a UT Dallas Opportunity Fund, designating his support to the Jonsson School.

The Tech Titan awards recognize outstanding technology companies and individuals in the North Texas area who have made significant contributions to their industries. The MTBC is the largest technology trade association in Texas.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].